Showing posts with label Switzerland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Switzerland. Show all posts

Saturday, February 20, 2021

February 20th in stamps Alfred Escher, Ansel Adams, Henri Moissan, Max Schreck

Here are some events that happened on February 20th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1819 Born: Alfred Escher, Swiss businessman and politician (d. 1882)

Johann Heinrich Alfred Escher vom Glas, known as Alfred Escher (20 February 1819 – 6 December 1882) was a Swiss politician, business leader and railways pioneer. Thanks to his numerous political posts and his significant role in the foundation and management of the Swiss Northeastern Railway, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Credit Suisse, Swiss Life and the Gotthard Railway, Escher had an unmatched influence on Switzerland's political and economic development in the 19th century.

Swiss stamps depicting Alfred Escher

Switzerland 2019 200. Birthday Alfred Escher President Gotthard Railway



1902 Born: Ansel Adams, American photographer and environmentalist (d. 1984)

Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed an exacting system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a deeply technical understanding of how tonal range is recorded and developed in exposure, negative development, and printing. The resulting clarity and depth of such images characterized his photography.

Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy. At age 12, he was given his first camera during his first visit to Yosemite National Park. He developed his early photographic work as a member of the Sierra Club. He was later contracted with the United States Department of the Interior to make photographs of national parks. For his work and his persistent advocacy, which helped expand the National Park system, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.

Adams was a key advisor in establishing the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an important landmark in securing photography's institutional legitimacy. He helped to stage that department's first photography exhibition, helped found the photography magazine Aperture, and co-founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

US minisheet featuring Ansel Adam's works

US Sheet 37c Masters of Photography



1907 Died: Henri Moissan, French chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)

Ferdinand Frédéric Henri Moissan (28 September 1852 – 20 February 1907) was a French chemist and pharmacist who won the 1906 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in isolating fluorine from its compounds. Moissan was one of the original members of the International Atomic Weights Committee.

Moissan was born in Paris on 28 September 1852, the son of a minor officer of the eastern railway company, Francis Ferdinand Moissan, and a seamstress, Joséphine Améraldine (née Mitel). His mother was of Jewish descent, his father wasn't. In 1864 they moved to Meaux, where he attended the local school. In 1870 he left the school without the grade universitaire necessary to attend university. Moissan became a trainee in pharmacy in 1871 and in 1872 he started working for a chemist in Paris, where he was able to save a person poisoned with arsenic. He decided to study chemistry and began first at the laboratory of Edmond Frémy and later at that of Pierre Paul Dehérain. Dehérain persuaded him to pursue an academic career. He passed the baccalauréat, which was necessary to study at university, in 1874 after an earlier failed attempt. He also became qualified as first-class pharmacist at the École Supérieure de Pharmacie in 1879, and received his doctoral degree from the Faculté des Sciences in 1880. During his time in Paris he became a friend of the chemist Alexandre Léon Étard and the botanist Vasque.

He published his first scientific paper, about carbon dioxide and oxygen metabolism in plants, with Dehérain in 1874. He left plant physiology and then turned towards inorganic chemistry; subsequently his research on pyrophoric iron was well received by the two most prominent French inorganic chemists of that time, Henri Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville and Jules Henri Debray. After Moissan received his Ph.D. on cyanogen and its reactions to form cyanures in 1880, his friend Landrine offered him a position at an analytic laboratory. His marriage, to Léonie Lugan, took place in 1882. They had a son in 1885.

During the 1880s, Moissan focused on fluorine chemistry and especially the production of fluorine itself. He had no laboratory of his own, but used several laboratories, for example that of Charles Friedel. There he had access to a strong battery consisting of 90 Bunsen cells which made it possible to observe a gas produced by the electrolysis of molten arsenic trichloride; the gas was reabsorbed by the arsenic trichloride. The electrolysis of hydrogen fluoride yielded fluorine on 26 June 1886. The French academy of science sent three representatives, Marcellin Berthelot, Henri Debray, and Edmond Frémy, to verify the results, but Moissan was unable to reproduce them, owing to the absence from the hydrogen fluoride of traces of potassium fluoride present in the previous experiments. After resolving the problem and demonstrating the production of fluorine several times, he was awarded a prize of 10,000 francs. In subsequent years, until 1891, he focused on the study of fluorine chemistry. He discovered numerous fluorine compounds, such as (together with Paul Lebeau) SF6 in 1901. His research in the production of boron and artificial diamonds and the development of an electrically heated oven capable of reaching 3500 °C using 2200 amperes at 80 volts followed by 1900.

His newly developed arc furnace led to the production of borides and carbides of numerous elements (e.g. silicon boride), another of his research areas.


French stamps depicting Henri Moissan

Henri Moissan, Nobel Chemistry Winner, France 1986

France 2006 - Henri Moissan - Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry



1936 Died: Max Schreck, German actor (b. 1879)

Friedrich Gustav Maximilian Schreck (6 September 1879 – 20 February 1936), known professionally as Max Schreck, was a German actor, best known for his lead role as the vampire Count Orlok in the film Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (German: Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens), or simply Nosferatu, is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897); the Stoker Estate had refused permission. Various names and other details were changed from the novel: for instance, vampire became Nosferatu, and Count Dracula became Count Orlok.

Stoker's heirs sued over the adaptation, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. However, a few prints of Nosferatu survived, and the film came to be regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema.

The film was released in the United States on 3 June 1929, seven years after its original premiere in Germany.

Below are 2 Maxicards issued in Spain commemorating Nosferatu



Thursday, December 24, 2020

December 24th in stamps George I of Greece, Albania becomes a republic, Died Peyo, created The Smurfs

Here are some events that happened on December 24th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1845 Born: George I of Greece (d. 1913)

George I (24 December 1845 – 18 March 1913) was King of Greece from 30 March 1863 until his assassination in 1913.

Originally a Danish prince, he was born in Copenhagen, and seemed destined for a career in the Royal Danish Navy. He was only 17 years old when he was elected king by the Greek National Assembly, which had deposed the unpopular Otto. His nomination was both suggested and supported by the Great Powers: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Second French Empire and the Russian Empire. He married Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia in 1867, and became the first monarch of a new Greek dynasty. Two of his sisters, Alexandra and Dagmar, married into the British and Russian royal families. Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexander III of Russia were his brothers-in-law, and George V, Nicholas II, Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway were his nephews.

George's reign of almost 50 years (the longest in modern Greek history) was characterized by territorial gains as Greece established its place in pre-World War I Europe. Britain ceded the Ionian Islands peacefully in 1864, while Thessaly was annexed from the Ottoman Empire after the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Greece was not always successful in its territorial ambitions; it was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War (1897). During the First Balkan War, after Greek troops had captured much of Greek Macedonia, George was assassinated in Thessaloniki. Compared with his own long tenure, the reigns of his successors Constantine I, Alexander, and George II proved short and insecure.

Greece stamp depicting George I

Greece 1956 30 I George



1924 – Albania becomes a republic.

Albania, officially the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and maritime borders with Greece, Montenegro and Italy to the west.

Geographically, Albania displays varied climatic, geological, hydrological, and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi). It possesses significant diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg, Pindus and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea.

Historically, Albania has been inhabited by numerous civilisations such as the Illyrians, Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans. The Albanians established the autonomous Principality of Arbër in the 12th century. The Kingdom of Albania and Principality of Albania formed between the 13th and 14th centuries. Prior to the Ottoman conquest of Albania in the 15th century, the Albanian resistance to Ottoman expansion into Europe led by Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg won them acclaim over most of Europe.

Between the 18th and 19th centuries, cultural developments, widely attributed to Albanians having gathered both spiritual and intellectual strength, conclusively led to the Albanian Renaissance. After the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars, the modern nation state of Albania declared independence in 1912. In the 20th century, the Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy which formed Greater Albania before becoming a protectorate of Nazi Germany. Enver Hoxha formed Communist Albania after the Second World War and launched the Albanians on a path of oppression and decades of isolation. The Revolutions of 1991 concluded the fall of communism in Albania and eventually the establishment of the current Republic of Albania.

Following the end of the government of Fan Noli, the parliament adopted a new constitution and proclaimed the country as a parliamentary republic in which King Zog I of Albania (Ahmet Muhtar Zogu) served as the head of state for a seven-year term. Immediately after, Tirana was endorsed officially as the country's permanent capital.

Stamps issued to celebrate the return of the Government to the Capital after a revolution.

Albania - 1924 Overprint


1992 Died Peyo, Belgian cartoonist, created The Smurfs (b. 1928)

Pierre "Peyo" Culliford (25 June 1928 – 24 December 1992) was a Belgian cartoonist who worked under the pseudonym Peyo ([pejo]). His best-known works are the comic strips The Smurfs and Johan and Peewit, in which the Smurfs first appeared.

After working briefly at a Belgian animation studio, Peyo began making comic strips for daily newspapers such as Le Soir shortly after World War II. At the beginning of the 1950s, he brought his character Johan to the magazine Spirou, whom he soon gave a companion, the diminutive Peewit; the strip soon became a staple of the weeklies. Peyo introduced the Smurfs in the Johan and Peewit storyline The Magic Flute in 1958; the characters quickly supplanted Johan and Peewit in popularity and left them behind for their own series.

In 1960, Peyo founded a studio to accommodate his assistants such as François Walthéry, Gos, and Marc Wasterlain [fr] and created the series Steven Strong and Jacky and Célestin [fr]. Peyo's output diminished in the 1970s, at first due to the time he invested in the film The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (1976); in the 1980s, he put in more time, despite recurring health problems, into an American adaptation of The Smurfs as an animated television series. After the series concluded, he left his publisher Dupuis to found his own publishing house, Cartoon Creation, and a cartoon magazine, Schtroumpf!, which soon folded due to management problems. He joined Le Lombard in 1992 but died a few months later. Since his death, Peyo's children have continued to promote his work under the brand "Peyo".

Belgian and Swiss stamps depicting The Smurfs

2008 Belgium The Smurfs Minisheet

Belgium The Smurf 2008 Cartoon Booklet

Switzerland Smurf 2013 Cartoon


Friday, September 18, 2020

September 18th in stamps Leonhard Euler, Oscar II, Royal Opera House in London opens, Léon Foucault

Here are some events that happened on September 18th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1783 Died: Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician and physicist (b. 1707)

Leonhard Euler (15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who made important and influential discoveries in many branches of mathematics, such as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory, while also making pioneering contributions to several branches such as topology and analytic number theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function. He is also known for his work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, astronomy and music theory. 

Euler was one of the most eminent mathematicians of the 18th century and is held to be one of the greatest in history. He is also widely considered to be the most prolific, as his collected works fill 92 volumes, more than anyone else in the field. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia.


Stamps from East Germany and Switzerland depicting Leonhard Euler

DDR  Leonhard Euler

DDR Germany 1957 Euler



1809 – The Royal Opera House in London opens.

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.

The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1856. The façade, foyer, and auditorium date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive reconstruction in the 1990s. The main auditorium seats 2,256 people, making it the third largest in London, and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery. The proscenium is 12.20 m wide and 14.80 m high. The main auditorium is a Grade I listed building.

Stamp from Great Britain depicting the Royal Opera House

Great Britain -1980- London Landmarks - Royal Opera House


1819 Born: Léon Foucault, French physicist and academic (d. 1868)

Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (18 September 1819 – 11 February 1868) was a French physicist best known for his demonstration of the Foucault pendulum, a device demonstrating the effect of the Earth's rotation. He also made an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and is credited with naming the gyroscope.

Foucault died of what was probably a rapidly developing case of multiple sclerosis on 11 February 1868 in Paris and was buried in the Montmartre Cemetery.

The asteroid 5668 Foucault was named for him.[10] His is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

France great scientists Foucault


1872 – King Oscar II accedes to the throne of Sweden–Norway.

Oscar II (Oscar Fredrik; 21 January 1829 – 8 December 1907) was the King of Sweden from 1872 until his death, and was also the final King of Norway from the House of Bernadotte until being deposed in 1905.

Oscar II was King during a time when both Sweden and Norway were undergoing a period of industrialization and rapid technological progress. His reign also saw the gradual decline of the Union of Sweden and Norway, which culminated in its dissolution in 1905. He was subsequently succeeded as King of Norway by his grandnephew Prince Carl of Denmark under the regnal name Haakon VII, and as King of Sweden by his eldest son, Gustaf V.

Oscar II is the paternal great-great-grandfather of Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden since 1973. Harald V, King of Norway since 1991, is a great-grandson of Oscar II, through his third son Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland.

Swedish stamps depicting Oscar II

Sweden King Oscar I 30 Ore

Sweden King Oscar I 50 Ore

Thursday, August 27, 2020

August 27th in stamps Lope de Vega, Lyndon B. Johnson, Le Corbusier


Here are some events that happened on August 27th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1635 Died: Lope de Vega, Spanish poet and playwright (b. 1562)

Lope Félix de Vega Carpio (25 November 1562 – 27 August 1635) was a Spanish playwright, poet, novelist and marine. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Age of Baroque literature. His reputation in the world of Spanish literature is second only to that of Miguel de Cervantes, while the sheer volume of his literary output is unequalled, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of literature. He was nicknamed "The Phoenix of Wits" and "Monster of Nature" (in Spanish: Fénix de los Ingenios, Monstruo de la Naturaleza) by Cervantes because of his prolific nature.

Lope de Vega renewed the Spanish theatre at a time when it was starting to become a mass cultural phenomenon. He defined its key characteristics, and along with Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina, took Spanish Baroque theatre to its greatest heights. Because of the insight, depth and ease of his plays, he is regarded as one of the greatest dramatists in Western literature, his plays still being produced worldwide. He was also considered one of the best lyric poets in the Spanish language, and wrote several novels. Although not well known in the English-speaking world, his plays were presented in England as late as the 1660s, when diarist Samuel Pepys recorded having attended some adaptations and translations of them, although he omits mentioning the author.

Some 3,000 sonnets, 3 novels, 4 novellas, 9 epic poems, and about 500 plays are attributed to him. Although he has been criticised for putting quantity ahead of quality, nevertheless at least 80 of his plays are considered masterpieces. He was a friend of the writer Francisco de Quevedo and an arch-enemy of the dramatist Juan Ruiz de Alarcón. The volume of his lifework made him envied by not only contemporary authors such as Cervantes and Luis de Góngora, but also by many others: for instance, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wished he had been able to produce such a vast and colourful oeuvre.

Spanish stamps and maximum card depicting Lope de Vega

Lope de Vega Spain 1935

Spain Lope de Vega

maximum felix lope de vega carpio 1954



1908 Born: Lyndon B. Johnson, American commander and politician, 36th President of the United States (d. 1973)

Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969, and previously as 37th vice president from 1961 to 1963. He assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson also served as a United States Representative and as the Majority Leader in the United States Senate. Johnson is one of only four people who have served in all four federal elected positions. 

Born in a farmhouse in Stonewall, Texas, Johnson was a high school teacher and worked as a congressional aide before winning election to the US House of Representatives in 1937. Johnson won election to the United States Senate from Texas in 1948 after winning the Democratic Party's nomination by an incredibly narrow margin. He was appointed to the position of Senate Majority Whip in 1951. He became the Senate Minority Leader in 1953 and the Senate Majority Leader in 1955.

He became known for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment", his aggressive coercion of powerful politicians to advance legislation. Along with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sam Rayburn, Senate Majority Whip Earle Clements, and House Majority Whip Carl Albert, Johnson did not sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto drafted by Dixie South Democrats in the 84th U.S. Congress, despite all representing states where racial segregation of public schools had been legally required prior to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court case. As Majority Leader, Johnson shepherded to passage the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960; the first civil rights bills passed by the U.S. Congress since the Reconstruction Era (1863–1877).

Johnson ran for the Democratic nomination in the 1960 presidential election. Although unsuccessful, he accepted the invitation of then-Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts to be his running mate. They went on to win a close election over the Republican ticket of Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated and Johnson succeeded him as president. The following year, Johnson won in a landslide, defeating Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. With 61.1 percent of the popular vote, Johnson won the largest share of the popular vote of any candidate since the largely uncontested 1820 election.

In domestic policy, Johnson designed the "Great Society" legislation to expand civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, public services and his "War on Poverty". Assisted in part by a growing economy, the War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during his administration. Civil rights bills that he signed into law banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace and housing; the Voting Rights Act prohibited certain requirements in southern states used to disenfranchise African Americans. With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the country's immigration system was reformed, encouraging greater immigration from regions other than Europe. Johnson's presidency marked the peak of modern liberalism after the New Deal era.

In foreign policy, Johnson escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War. In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the power to use military force in Southeast Asia without having to ask for an official declaration of war. The number of American military personnel in Vietnam increased dramatically, from 16,000 advisors in non-combat roles in 1963 to 525,000 in 1967, many in combat roles. American casualties soared and the peace process stagnated. Growing unease with the war stimulated a large, angry anti-war movement based chiefly among draft-age students on university campuses.

Johnson faced further troubles when summer riots began in major cities in 1965 and crime rates soared, as his opponents raised demands for "law and order" policies. While Johnson began his presidency with widespread approval, support for him declined as the public became frustrated with both the war and the growing violence at home. In 1968, the Democratic Party factionalized as anti-war elements denounced Johnson; he ended his bid for renomination after a disappointing finish in the New Hampshire primary. Nixon was elected to succeed him, as the New Deal coalition that had dominated presidential politics for 36 years collapsed. After he left office in January 1969, Johnson returned to his Texas ranch, where he died of a heart attack at age 64, on January 22, 1973.

Johnson is ranked favorably by many historians because of his domestic policies and the passage of many major laws that affected civil rights, gun control, wilderness preservation, and Social Security, although he also drew substantial criticism for his escalation of the Vietnam War.

Lyndon B. Johnson  1973

Lyndon B. Johnson FDC.



1965 Died:- Le Corbusier, Swiss-French architect and urban planner, designed the Philips Pavilion (b. 1887)

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (6 October 1887 – 27 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier, was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930. His career spanned five decades, and he designed buildings in Europe, Japan, India, and North and South America.

Dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities, Le Corbusier was influential in urban planning, and was a founding member of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Le Corbusier prepared the master plan for the city of Chandigarh in India, and contributed specific designs for several buildings there, specially the government buildings.

On 17 July 2016, seventeen projects by Le Corbusier in seven countries were inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement.

Stamps from Monaco and Switzerland depicting Le Corbusier

Monaco le corbusier

Switzerland 1972 - 30 Le Corbusier Block 4 First Day Cover

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

April 15th in stamps Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Kim Il-sung, Notre-Dame fire, James Clark Ross, Leonhard Euler

Here are some events that happened on April 15th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1452 Born: Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, and architect (d. 1519)

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (14/15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519), known as Leonardo da Vinci, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time (despite perhaps only 15 of his paintings having survived).

Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, in Vinci, in the region of Florence, Italy, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Italian painter Andrea del Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan, and he later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice. He spent his last three years in France, where he died in 1519.

Leonardo is renowned primarily as a painter. The Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most popular portrait ever made. The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time and his Vitruvian Man drawing is regarded as a cultural icon as well. Salvator Mundi was sold for a world record $450.3 million at a Christie's auction in New York, 15 November 2017, the highest price ever paid for a work of art. Leonardo's paintings and preparatory drawings—together with his notebooks, which contain sketches, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting—compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary Michelangelo.

Although he had no formal academic training, many historians and scholars regard Leonardo as the prime exemplar of the "Universal Genius" or "Renaissance Man", an individual of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination." He is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent in recorded history, and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, while the man himself mysterious and remote." Scholars interpret his view of the world as being based in logic, though the empirical methods he used were unorthodox for his time.

Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualized flying machines, a type of armoured fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, as the modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance. Some of his smaller inventions, however, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. He is also sometimes credited with the inventions of the parachute, helicopter, and tank.  He made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, geology, optics, and hydrodynamics, but he did not publish his findings and they had little to no direct influence on subsequent science.

Stamps from various countries depicting Leonardo da Vinci or his works


2019 Vatican City Death of Leonardo da Vinci Sheet

Cyprus Leonardo da Vinci

France 1952 Leonardo da Vinci 5th Birth Centenary

Italy 1935- Leonardo da Vinci Set

Italy 1935- Leonardo da Vinci

Italy 1952 - Leonardo da Vinci

Monaco Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. 1969

West Germany Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa



1707 Born: Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician and physicist (d. 1783)

Leonhard Euler (15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who made important and influential discoveries in many branches of mathematics, such as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory, while also making pioneering contributions to several branches such as topology and analytic number theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function. He is also known for his work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, astronomy and music theory. 

Euler was one of the most eminent mathematicians of the 18th century and is held to be one of the greatest in history. He is also widely considered to be the most prolific, as his collected works fill 92 volumes, more than anyone else in the field. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia.


Stamps from East Germany and Switzerland depicting Leonhard Euler

DDR  Leonhard Euler

DDR Germany 1957 Euler




1800 Born: James Clark Ross, English captain and explorer (d. 1862)

Sir James Clark Ross (15 April 1800 – 3 April 1862) was a British Royal Navy officer and polar explorer known for his explorations of the Arctic, participating in two expeditions led by his uncle Sir John Ross, and four led by Sir William Parry, and, in particular, for his own Antarctic expedition from 1839 to 1843.

Ross was born in London, the nephew of Sir John Ross, under whom he entered the Royal Navy in 1812, accompanying him on Sir John's first Arctic voyage in search of a Northwest Passage in 1818. Between 1819 and 1827, Ross took part in four Arctic expeditions under Sir William Parry, and in 1829 to 1833, again served under his uncle on Sir John's second Arctic voyage. It was during this trip that a small party led by James Ross (including Thomas Abernethy) located the position of the North Magnetic Pole on 1 June 1831, on the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada. It was on this trip, too, that Ross charted the Beaufort Islands, later renamed Clarence Islands by his uncle.

Stamps from Great Britain and French Southern & Antarctic Territories depicting James Clark Ross

Great Britain 1972 3p James Clark Ross & Map of South Polar Sea

French Southern & Antarctic Territory First climbing of Mount Ross, James Clark Ross


1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President upon Lincoln's death.

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.

Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, Illinois state legislator and Congressman. In 1849, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in the 1858 Illinois Senate campaign. He then ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery. They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U.S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to suppress the rebellion and restore the Union.

As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South; War Democrats, who rallied a large faction of former opponents into his camp; anti-war Democrats (called Copperheads), who despised him; and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by carefully distributing political patronage, and by appealing to the American people. His Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, and he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade. As the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; ordering the Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraging border states to outlaw slavery, and pushing through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery across the country.

Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign. He sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists. A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, and died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero. He is consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U.S. presidents.

US stamps and a First Day Cover depicting Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln FDC

Abraham Lincoln scott 304

Abraham Lincoln scott 584


1912 Born: Kim Il-sung, North Korean general and politician, 1st Supreme Leader of North Korea (d. 1994)

Kim Il-sung (15 April 1912 – 8 July 1994) was the first leader of North Korea, which he ruled from the country's establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Premier from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994. He was also the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) from 1949 to 1994 (titled as Chairman from 1949 to 1966 and as General Secretary after 1966). Coming to power after the end of Japanese rule in 1945, he authorized the invasion of South Korea in 1950, triggering an intervention in defense of South Korea by the United Nations led by the United States. Following the military stalemate in the Korean War, a ceasefire was signed on 27 July 1953. He was the third longest-serving non-royal head of state/government in the 20th century, in office for more than 45 years.

Under his leadership, North Korea was established as a communist state with a publicly owned and planned economy. It had close political and economic relations with the Soviet Union. By the 1960s, North Korea briefly enjoyed a standard of living higher than the South, which was fraught with political instability and economic crises. The situation reversed in the 1970s, as a newly stable South Korea became an economic powerhouse fueled by Japanese and American investment, military aid, and internal economic development, while North Korea stagnated and then declined in the 1980s. Differences emerged between North Korea and the Soviet Union, chief among them being Kim Il-sung's philosophy of Juche, which focused on Korean nationalism, self-reliance, and socialism. Despite this, the country received funds, subsidies and aid from the USSR (and the Eastern Bloc) until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. The resulting loss of economic aid adversely affected the North's economy, causing widespread famine in 1994. During this period, North Korea also remained critical of the United States defense force's presence in the region, which it considered imperialism, having seized the American ship USS Pueblo in 1968, which was part of an infiltration and subversion campaign to reunify the peninsula under North Korea's rule. He outlived Joseph Stalin by four decades and Mao Zedong by almost two and remained in power during the terms of office of six South Korean Presidents, ten US Presidents, and the rule of British monarchs George VI and later his daughter Elizabeth II. Known as the Great Leader (Suryong), he established a personality cult which dominates domestic politics in North Korea.

At the 6th WPK Congress in 1980, his oldest son Kim Jong-il was elected as a Presidium member and chosen as his heir apparent to the supreme leadership. Kim Il-sung's birthday is a public holiday in North Korea called the "Day of the Sun". In 1998, Kim Il-sung was declared "eternal President of the Republic". During his rule, North Korea was molded into a totalitarian state responsible for widespread human rights abuses.

North Korean stamps depicting Kim Il-sung

Korea 1971 Kim Il Sung

Korea N 1998 Souvenir Sheet Kim Il Sung

Korea N 1998 Souvenir Sheet Young Kim Il Sung


2019 – The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in France is seriously damaged by a large fire.

Notre-Dame de Paris, referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, as well as the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style. Major components that make Notre Dame stand out include one of the world's largest organs and its immense church bells.

The cathedral's construction began in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and funerals of many Presidents of the Republic.

Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo's novel Notre-Dame de Paris (better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. The liberation of Paris was celebrated within Notre-Dame in 1944 with the singing of the Magnificat. Beginning in 1963, the cathedral's façade was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime. Another cleaning and restoration project was carried out between 1991 and 2000.

On 15 April 2019, just before 18:20 CEST, a structure fire broke out beneath the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris. By the time it was extinguished, the building's spire and most of its roof had been destroyed and its upper walls severely damaged; extensive damage to the interior was prevented by its stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed. Many works of art and religious relics were moved to safety early in the emergency, but others suffered some smoke damage, and some exterior art was damaged or destroyed. The cathedral's altar, two pipe organs, and its three 13th-century rose windows suffered little to no damage. Three emergency workers were injured. Contamination of the site and the nearby environment resulted.

President Emmanuel Macron said that the cathedral would be restored by 2024, and launched a fundraising campaign which brought in pledges of over €1 billion as of 22 April 2019. A complete restoration could require twenty years or more.

On 25 December 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral did not host Christmas services for the first time since the French Revolution.

French stamps depicting the Notre Dame Cathedral


France Paris Notre Dame

France Plane over Notre Dame

Saturday, April 04, 2020

April 4th in stamps Basel University, Francis Drake, William Henry Harrison, Karl Benz

Here are some events that happened on April 4th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1460 – Basel University is founded.

The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland. Founded on 4 April 1460, it is Switzerland's oldest university and among the world's oldest surviving universities. The university is traditionally counted among the leading institutions of higher learning in the country.

The associated Basel University Library is the largest and among the most important libraries in the country. The university hosts the faculties of theology, law, medicine, humanities and social sciences, science, psychology, and business and economics, as well as numerous cross-disciplinary subjects and institutes, such as the Biozentrum for biomedical research and the Institute for European Global Studies. In 2016, the University boasted 12,852 students and 377 professors. International students accounted for 24 percent of the student body.

In its over 500-year history the university has been home to Erasmus of Rotterdam, Paracelsus, Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, Jacob Burckhardt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Tadeusz Reichstein, Karl Jaspers, Carl Gustav Jung, Karl Barth and Jeanne Hersch. The institution is associated with nine Nobel prize winners and two Presidents of the Swiss Confederation.

Swiss stamps issued to commemorate Basel University

Switzerland University of Basel, 500th anniv. 1960

Switzerland University of Basel, 550th anniv. 2010


1581 – Francis Drake is knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world.

Sir Francis Drake (c. 1540 – 28 January 1596) was an English sea captain, privateer, slave trader, pirate, naval officer and explorer of the Elizabethan era. Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580, and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation. With his incursion into the Pacific Ocean, he claimed what is now California for the English and inaugurated an era of conflict with the Spanish on the western coast of the Americas, an area that had previously been largely unexplored by western shipping.

Elizabeth I awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581 which he received on the Golden Hind in Deptford. In the same year he was appointed mayor of Plymouth. As a Vice Admiral, he was second-in-command of the English fleet in the victorious battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died of dysentery in January 1596, after unsuccessfully attacking San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Drake's exploits made him a hero to the English, but his privateering led the Spanish to brand him a pirate, known to them as El Draque. King Philip II allegedly offered a reward for his capture or death of 20,000 ducats, about £6 million (US$8 million) in modern currency.

Stamps from Great Britain depicting Francis Drake

Francis Drake 2009

Francis Drake


1841 – William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia, becoming the first President of the United States to die in office, and setting the record for the briefest administration. Vice President John Tyler succeeds Harrison as President.

William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was an American military officer and politician who served as the ninth president of the United States in 1841. He died of typhoid, pneumonia or paratyphoid fever 31 days into his term (the shortest tenure), becoming the first president to die in office. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis regarding succession to the presidency, because the Constitution was unclear as to whether Vice President John Tyler should assume the office of president or merely execute the duties of the vacant office. Tyler claimed a constitutional mandate to become the new president and took the presidential oath of office, setting an important precedent for an orderly transfer of the presidency and its full powers when the previous president fails to complete the elected term.

Harrison was born in Charles City County, Virginia, the son of Founding Father Benjamin Harrison V and the paternal grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States. He was the last president born as a British subject in the Thirteen Colonies before the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775. During his early military career, he participated in the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, an American military victory that effectively ended the Northwest Indian War. Later, he led a military force against Tecumseh's Confederacy at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Old Tippecanoe". He was promoted to major general in the Army in the War of 1812, and in 1813 led American infantry and cavalry at the Battle of the Thames in Upper Canada.

Harrison began his political career in 1798, when he was appointed Secretary of the Northwest Territory, and in 1799 he was elected as the territory's delegate in the House of Representatives. Two years later, President John Adams named him governor of the newly established Indiana Territory, a post he held until 1812. After the War of 1812, he moved to Ohio where he was elected to represent the state's 1st district in the House in 1816. In 1824, the state legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate; his term was truncated by his appointment as Minister Plenipotentiary to Gran Colombia in May 1828. Afterward, he returned to private life in North Bend, Ohio until he was nominated as the Whig Party candidate for president in the 1836 election; he was defeated by Democratic vice president Martin Van Buren. Four years later, the party nominated him again with John Tyler as his running mate, and the Whig campaign slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". They defeated Van Buren in the 1840 election, making Harrison the first Whig to win the presidency.

At 68 years, 23 days of age at the time of his inauguration, Harrison was the oldest person to assume the U.S. presidency, a distinction he held until 1981, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated at age 69 years, 349 days. Due to his brief tenure, scholars and historians often forgo listing him in historical presidential rankings. However, historian William W. Freehling calls him "the most dominant figure in the evolution of the Northwest territories into the Upper Midwest today".

US stamps and First Day Cover depicting William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison FDC



1929 Died: Karl Benz, German engineer and businessman, founded Mercedes-Benz (b. 1844)

Karl Friedrich Benz or Carl Friedrich Benz (25 November 1844 – 4 April 1929) was a German engine designer, automobile engineer. His Benz Patent Motorcar from 1885 is considered the first practical automobile. He received a patent for the motorcar in 1886

Benz's lifelong hobby brought him to a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Companie Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, usually referred to as Benz & Cie. Quickly growing to twenty-five employees, it soon began to produce static gas engines as well.

The success of the company gave Benz the opportunity to indulge in his old passion of designing a horseless carriage. Based on his experience with, and fondness for, bicycles, he used similar technology when he created an automobile. It featured wire wheels (unlike carriages' wooden ones)  with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels, with a very advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it "Benz Patent Motorwagen".

It was the first automobile entirely designed as such to generate its own power, not simply a motorized stage coach or horse carriage, which is why Karl Benz was granted his patent and is regarded as its inventor.

The Motorwagen was patented on 29 January 1886 as DRP-37435: "automobile fueled by gas". The 1885 version was difficult to control, leading to a collision with a wall during a public demonstration. The first successful tests on public roads were carried out in the early summer of 1886. The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in 1889, the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year.

German stamps depicting Karl Benz or his cars

Germany 1939 WW2 War Auto Exposition Mercedes Benz

Early Benz car

Karl Benz